Leading Health Organizations Issue Challenge to Defeat Cervical Cancer


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Keith Martin, MD

Keith Martin, MD

The Consortium of Universities for Global Health, Perlmutter Cancer Center, and the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone Health are issuing the “New York Challenge,” an ambitious campaign to end cervical cancer worldwide. They are challenging all nations to achieve a 70% human papillomavirus vaccination (HPV) rate for all girls by the year 2030.

The New York Challenge was issued in Manhattan on March 15, 2018, in conjunction with the 6th Annual Symposium on Global Cancer Research, an annual gathering on global oncology focusing on health disparities.

Vaccinating girls against HPV has been declared a cost-effective measure against cervical cancer by the World Health Organization. Research published in 2017 estimated that the total cost of vaccinating 160 million girls, with 2 doses apiece, and screening and treating 170 million women would be $3.2 billion. The return on this investment would be averting 5.2 million cases of cervical cancer, 3.7 million deaths, and 22 million individual years lost to disability.

“The real tragedy is the tools to prevent virtually all cervical cancer deaths already exist,” said Keith Martin, MD, PC, Executive Director of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health. “HPV vaccines prevent cervical cancer deaths, but the vaccines are simply not accessible to much of the world’s population. Governments and private industry worldwide must take up the cause of fighting cervical cancer, making screening, treatment, and vaccinations available to all, regardless of socioeconomic status or nation of origin.” ■


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